06 May What is ECU remapping – and should you have it done?
If you’re looking to improve your driving experience and save on fuel, you should consider ECU remapping for your car.
It’s a technique which fine-tunes your engine, giving you a better performance.
What is an ECU?
An ECU is an engine control unit. It’s the computer which runs your car’s engine and contains a ‘map’ of the programming.
The computer affects the way all sorts of things about your car work, including the ignition timing, the turbocharging boost pressure and the air/fuel ratio.
Manufacturers will set the ECU to default when they send a vehicle out for sale.
The ECU is rarely fully optimised to give you ultimate performance. Many different spec models have exactly the same engine and components, with different maps to offer various power outputs.
Most cars are built to give more performance than the default setting offers.
So, what’s remapping?
This is the overwriting of the ECU’s default ‘map’ setting with new software, programming the car’s engine to optimise its performance.
The new tuning programme is plugged into a vehicle’s serial port, also called an OBD port or in some cases with tri-core ECU’s the software must be written direct to the ECU.
The software overwrites the default setting to enhance the performance of your engine.
Why do it?
It fine-tunes the performance of your engine by increasing torque and the throttle response, and makes your car more driveable.
The power delivery becomes smoother, making it easier and safer to overtake, and it can make the overall driving experience safer.
It also makes your engine more fuel efficient, saving you money. One test found that remapping a turbodiesel car increases economy between 7% and 10%.
What are the options?
You can choose from a single modification which needs no engine work or components, but gives you improved everyday performance, and further upgrades to exhausts, intercoolers, hybrid turbos, downpipes, and induction kits to tailor your driving experience.
There is also the ultimate upgrade option for maximum power from your engine.
For this option, you may need modifications such as high-performance brake discs and pads, ultra-light flywheels, heavy competition clutches, or larger injectors and turbos.
Are there any drawbacks?
Although remapping does put a little extra strain on an engine, this is done within acceptable parameters – especially when you bear in mind most cars are not optimised for engine performance.
There is always the option of returning to the factory default setting, too.
You will need to tell your insurer this has been done, but most insurers will simply note it or charge a small fixed fee.
If you’re interested, call Eco Techs on 07867 411153 to find out more. See more about our ECU remapping service here.